Media On Bush and HIV/AIDS, or “Praise the Lord and Pass the Antiretrovirals”
The Christian, the Christian conservative, and the Bush administration record on efforts to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS and to care for the sick, suffering and dying millions, is a story of caring for human suffering which the MSM has little interest in sharing with the voting public.
In yesterday's LA Times, in a painfully difficult lead editorial, Christian conservatives vs. Aids, the paper, as most mainstream journalists can clearly relate, finds it difficult to enlighten their previously uneducated readers, that these folks are on the front lines and are leading the way in addressing the world's HIV/Aids problem. Further, the LA Times finds it especially difficult to give President Bush any personal credit for his leadership. As they see it:
"Bush and his Christian supporters seldom get the credit they deserve for their role in the global fight against AIDS. U.S. spending on the disease overseas has risen more than tenfold under Bush, while Christian groups have given unselfishly to the cause."
It blames his legacy on pressure forced on him by what the media sees as outside extremists:
"Pressure from his Christian base may have been a factor in President Bush's 2003 decision to start an initiative against AIDS, devoting $15 billion over five years to fight the disease.”
Possibly they missed United Secretary Annan's challenge to the international community - which Bush answered. Maybe they missed Live Aid organizer, Bob Geldof, in 2003 criticizing the former president Bill Clinton for doing nothing, while praising President Bush:
"Clinton was a good guy, but he did f--k all." And this, "You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical, in a positive sense, in the approach to Africa since Kennedy."
Geldof was not alone. There was Richard Gere, who spoke out against Clinton’s record, with the media quickly coming to Clinton’s defense as Gere was publicly diced up; and there was Aids activist Lord Alli, who said, "Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn't talk, but does deliver."
There were Bono's rather frequent personal meetings, lunches and appearances with President Bush. I sincerely doubt that any network nightly news offered coverage of these events, unless it was for the purpose of further promoting the liberal media’s view of how odd such an event would be.
In spite of these facts, earlier this year in a special issue of Newsweek titled Aids at 25, in 40 pages devoted to the HIV/Aids battle, President Bush and his leadership is a no-show. In a full-blown history of Aids, Newsweek opened with, “He [Reagan] didn't publicly utter the term "AIDS" until 1987. They just never miss the opportunity, do they? How long did it take for Bill Clinton to publicly discuss____ well, you get the picture. Newsweek did, of course, afford former President Bill Clinton, not only a full-page picture of himself but Clinton’s own 1,317 word self-legacy, “My Quest to Improve Care.” To his credit, Clinton does mention the “Bush Administration,” but not until the next to last paragraph, right along with the Gates Foundation, but only after mentioning himself – the “I” word – 26 times. Finally, almost at the very end of the special report, on page 64, we find the caption: "Only 3% of Americans know that the Bush administration has more than doubled U.S. Spending to combat HIV/Aids in Developing countries.” Only 3% - by golly, I wonder why?
It is noted in the LA Times editorial (my bold):
U.S. spending on the disease overseas has risen more than tenfold under Bush, while Christian groups have given unselfishly to the cause. Churches, in fact, run health clinics in much of rural Africa; without them, stemming AIDS would be all but impossible.
The Times plugs away on one of those issues, which it and the left side of the isle always seems to find troubling:
About 7% of the AIDS initiative money, meanwhile, must be spent on abstinence programs.
They go on to question whether or not it’s been proven that not having sex can lower the risk of catching HIV virus. Mmm? For goodness sakes folks, even if 7% of $15 billion is set aside for that part of the solution, it’s still going to round up to “a tenfold increase.”
So, let's see, "Bush and his Christian supporters seldom get the credit they deserve..," and, " "Only 3% of Americans know..”
Has it ever dawned on the media that the only reason the public does not know of these efforts is because the MSM has a gut wrenching self serving writer’s block soundly in place to guarantee that the other folks win all the elections – by reporting the news without bias, this agenda of theirs would be seriously jeopardized? Oh sure, the MSM will quickly retort with, "Hey, wait a minute, we can show you where we have covered this story." Sure, there will be a story or two, or an op ed, out there in selected newspapers during the past 6 years, but somehow, as Newsweek noted, only 3% of Americans have heard the story. That does not imply that all of the 3% are actually familiar with the story. Perhaps, the MSM might consider a sit-down interview with the President on the topic of how he feels on the issue and what he wishes to accomplish - you know, like they do with Bill Clinton.
I don't mean to single out the LA Times unfairly here, as they have plenty of company out there in the mainstream print media and on the network news. The network news that would break an ankle to get a spot on the air over Clinton’s efforts to make up for his lost time as President.
The LA Times piece did end on an interesting note - a note or a religious stab? You make the call:
So praise the Lord and pass the antiretrovirals.
Related links today:
CNN's Soledad O'Brien Critical of Bill Clinton by Ken Shepherd
Footnote: President Bush - the internationalist... the humanitarian:
"President Bush has confirmed his belief that AIDS can be defeated," Mr. Annan said. "I hope the US Congress will accept the President's challenge and ensure that the needed funding is made available as quickly as possible, in keeping with the urgency of this crisis. And I hope that this example will encourage other governments to follow suit."
Echoing that theme was Stephen Lewis, the Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, who said that Mr. Bush's announcement challenges every other member of the Group of Seven most industrialized nations - the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada - to follow suit before its next summit in June in France.